Cliché game idea blog thing

Posted by Toast on April 14, 2011, 6:15 a.m.

Yeh so this blog is a lost cause. TL;DR version: making a survival game.

So I got thinking the other day about storytelling and characters and such and then I noticed stories are always invented and designed - even "real-life" ones are by definition told from a particular perspective and cannot be objective. So I thought about how beautiful and emotional stories can be. However, conversely, to me the most beautiful things in the world are never intended, so why can't we use that in storytelling.

That's when I felt compelled to put this concept into a game.

OBVIOUSLY there will be zombies. That's not the concept don't worry. I just have an obsession with zombie. I'll keep trying to make zombie games until I actually finish a zombie game. To be honest I prefer games where (living) people aren't the main enemy in your sights. To me at least the most believable alternative is zombies. Shooting lots of zombies is in fact far more believable to me than shooting lots of humans for one, and it always seems to be that unless you really explain why we're shooting thousands of people it just feels to be in bad taste, whereas there's sort of innate understanding as to why zombies are bad. Not only would they threaten your survival but animated corpses are sort of the polar opposite to burial… yeah.

As such the game I would like to make would be a turn-based, open-world survival game where you lead a small group of people and there is no "storyline". I'm thinking of having a tutorial of some kind that does have a story, but the true game does not. The way in which you interact and the relationships you have with people in your group will be very in-depth. Like the Sims, people can love or hate you, to the extremes. Except I intend to use real language, with user-defined questions, sentences and actions.

One of the advantages of text-based dialogue is that you can have hundreds of ways of saying the same thing, and you can relate the probabilities of each to each individual's personality - the way in which people speak will be consistent (the words, rather than the voice), yet they won't say the same line all the time. Ideally they'd never say the same thing.

Hopefully there will be a real sense of attachment, because those people can and will die, or never be seen again. One interesting situation I can visualize is where one in your group has been bitten and is going to turn, however you can keep them in your party and talk to them… it'd be interesting to see the response to that, as you might have really liked a particular character, even though keeping them now is pointless.

As for gameplay, I'll do that thing where I use other games to explain everything. Exploring the world will be like a cross between Mount and Blade and Minecraft but in a Pokemon/Advance Wars movement and art style. Your group will wander around like in Mount and Blade and the zombies can too. The group will have hunger/sleep needs in a Sims manner. You'll be able to build like in Minecraft, however the emphasis will be on barricading while you sleep or w/e and it won't be impenetrable. You also won't mine or craft, ironically, but scavenge. Maybe crafting and farming will become available once you need to become self-sustaining.

The battle system will be very simple. I'm thinking of almost copying Pokemon here… I'll try to avoid some of Pokemon's major pitfalls. In Pokemon you'll notice there are really only two types of Pokemon - the ones you can catch and the ones you can't. In my game the ones you catch are the survivors while the ones you can't are zombies. So it will be turn-based one-on-one, except with a few differences. Obviously you're not going to nearly kill the survivors with the hope of convincing them to join, so there'll be non-violent actions, talking, etc. Because zombie combat is alot about the range from the zombies, that will have to be factored in. So too will where on the zombie you are aiming. Perhaps something like the Fallout V.A.T.S. system.

I'd show you screens but there are no graphics. Just squares that move about and stuff.

Let me know if you'd like to play something like this and if you think it has the possibility to become addictive, life consuming/destroying, etc.

ALSO thought I'd give my thoughts on some stuff I've seen/heard whatever recently because this blog kinda sucks so we might as well commit and make it even worse.

-Due Date

Road movie with that guy what did the Iron Man and the bearded guy from the Hangover who looks like that guy from Mastodon. There were a couple of laughs, the story was fairly cohesive until near the end, it wasn't bad. However it was one of the movies where you get a bit exhausted just watching, only a little more bored than you'd like. The bottom line is don't watch this unless you've seen Planes, Trains and Automobiles. Because there's no point, it's the same but not as good.

-The Way Back

Gulag prisoners escape from Siberia. Tasted like Saints and Soldiers. The plot twist for me was that the chick doesn't get raped. I found out I'm a prejudicial douche.

-Harry Potter and The Something Part 1

Yeh it's kind of the same as all the other ones except every year there's more dead things and you start to watch increasingly because of Emma Watson. There, that review was only a sentence and I still felt like I'd be lying if I didn't say Emma Watson.


I think I fell asleep watching this movie or something.

-Roger Dodger

Interesting comedy, worth a watch, although I can see why it wasn't commercially successful, very sort of cult-ish niche audience. It's good while it lasts but it's a one-trick pony.

ALSO only the Brits might care but I'm going to York university (yes, silly Americans, the original York). This is because Edinburgh rejected me. Without being conceited, this was mainly because I live in England. Ah well, nothing makes choice easier than not having a choice.


blackhole 13 years, 1 month ago

I hate zombies.

colseed 13 years, 1 month ago


I like the idea of a zombie apocalypse when it's done a certain way…mostly because I look at conflicts like humans vs. zombies (humans vs. aliens is another common one) as being a means to dehumanize enemies so that video game players can feel morally justified in killing, and enjoying that killing. And…well…

(let's just say I wrote an essay on this and leave it at that lol)

Human-human interaction in the game you outline above sounds like it could be rather interesting though. :D

Have you looked into Chris Crawford's work with interactive storytelling at all?

I haven't checked on it recently, but I know the project was progressing at least a couple years ago. I think.